January Classes & Programs

19 de Enero: Carreras en Construcción! Apúntense!

January 19: Maritime Industry Pre-Training Coordination

Upcoming Business Opportunity Center Training

February 5: First Time Homebuyer and Foreclosure Prevention Education

Curso de Computación Inicial para La Familia

January 2022: Cuentos from Our Work in the Community

Vaccines for Familias on MLK Day

We are as proud as the little gentlemen above of the vaccines we were able to deliver on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday in partnership with the City of Seattle and the Othello Station Pharmacy!

In total, 110 vaccines were administered to families, including 17 pediatric Pfizer vaccines.

Thank you to our partners, our community, and our donors for helping make our communities safer!

The Covarrubias: From a Dream in Oaxaca to Home Ownership in Tacoma

On La Hora del Centro de La Raza‘s radio hour, Ana Covarrubias shared how she and her husband, José Pablo, moved from living with relatives as newly arrived immigrants from Oaxaca, to eventually buying a three-bedroom home in Tacoma after participating in El Centro de La Raza’s Certified First Home Buyer Program.

Once they arrived to Seattle, she and José Pablo faced what she described as typical challenges encountered by immigrants; navigating a new language, culture, and credit system, while working to secure their livelihood and find employment. Throughout these challenges, their primary dream in this country, to own a home, stayed at the forefront of their minds.

Ana Covarrubias and Oliver Contreras on La Hora del Centro de La Raza’s Radio Hour

Since arriving, they lived with relatives and eventually rented for five years. Ana felt rent was eating a large part of their income. According to research, one in four Latinos spend more than half of their income on rent and, indeed, this poses a major challenge for wealth building for the community. In mid-2020, she reached out to El Centro de La Raza.

She signed up for a webinar for first-time homebuyers, where she learned strategies to budget and improve their credit. At the same time, she signed up for the Unidos at Work classes to improve her technology skills and enrolled in entrepreneurship courses also offered by the Business Opportunity Center. This holistic approach led to improved savings and income generation for their household.

Upon completion of the home buying program, participants earn a certification recognized by the Washington Housing Commission, which is valid for two years and qualifies participants for down payment assistance.

Ana said the program was very comprehensive and made her feel confident navigating the home buying process at every step. When Oliver Contreras asked how she felt as a homeowner, she said, “Indescribable. It has changed our life, definitively.” Others always ask her how much it cost her to enroll in the program and she tells them it was at no cost to participants, and she hopes others will take the leap and start their homeownership journey.

The Covarrubias lovely new home!

Want to learn more about what is going on in the community? Tune in to La Hora del Centro de La Raza on Seattle’s 1360 El Rey on Tuesdays from 3:00-4:00 PM EST.

The health and success of El Centro de la Raza begins with you. Support from a broad base of community members including foundations, individuals, and corporations is critical to our success and we ask that you carefully consider making a personally meaningful gift – it may be the largest gift you have ever made.

Meet Dallanary Santos – Future Teacher and Job Readiness Training Grad

Just three years ago, Dallanary Santos and her family moved from Honduras to the United States. It was a decision her mom Dania Romero had sometimes second-guessed because of the difficulties they have faced but seeing the opportunities her children have here and the support her two daughters have found support at El Centro de La Raza to discover and pursue their dreams has really made her confident it was the right move.

To adjust to the new culture, Dallanary enrolled in the Youth Job Readiness Training (YJRT) Program at El Centro de la Raza, where the program equips students with job readiness, career development, post-secondary options, while building self-sufficiency skills at school and at work.

Through the YJRT program, Dallanary landed an internship at the Center for Wooden Boats and the Business Opportunity Center with El Centro de la Raza.  Through these experiences and one-on-one career orientation, Dallanary has chosen to pursue a major in Education at Seattle Center College, where she has been accepted. She is excited to graduate in June 2022!

Dallanary attributes her success in school and in life to her mother, Dania Romero. Dania has four children and has signed up her two oldest daughters to the YJRT program. She has seen her daughters find confidence within themselves and flourish and said she admires the dedication and work ethic the staff at El Centro de la Raza bring. Dania is proud of her daughter Dallanary for her accomplishments and is looking forward to seeing her graduate in June.

The health and success of El Centro de la Raza begins with you. Support from a broad base of community members including foundations, individuals, and corporations is critical to our success and we ask that you carefully consider making a personally meaningful gift – it may be the largest gift you have ever made.

An Excellent Posada Night Market for our Businesses & Community!

El Centro de la Raza’s Business Opportunity Center (BOC) would like to thank everyone that joined us for the Posada Night Market on December 17, 2021!

In the spirit of the holidays, and as an effort to help promote local small businesses, BOC planned and promoted a holiday outdoor night market, which was held at Plaza Roberto Maestas on Friday December 17, 2021. The event was Ugly Sweater themed, where individuals were able to buy arts & crafts from small businesses owned by some of our Small Business Development Program’s participants, listen to music produced by DJ  Sabrocito, and take pictures at a Christmas-themed stage provided by Luis Enrique and Piscis Photo & Video Studios. Attendees also enjoyed delicious food from participants of the food incubator program including Antojitos Lita Rosita, Shark Bite Ceviches, Outsider Pizza and Recetas de Abuelita!

The event helped promote 17 vendors showcase their food, craftsmanship. Many of the featured vendors have just started their businesses and this was their debut into the community. As a result, vendors received revenue that day that will allow them to keep investing in their businesses!

Thank you all for your support! Happy New Year!!!

The health and success of El Centro de la Raza begins with you. Support from a broad base of community members including foundations, individuals, and corporations is critical to our success and we ask that you carefully consider making a personally meaningful gift – it may be the largest gift you have ever made.

Cuentos From Our Programs and Community: November 2021


The Workforce Development Program at El Centro de la Raza provides extensive outreach, education referrals, and registration assistance for relevant pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs to participants to obtain permanent employment in maritime, construction trades, and/or green career industries. This project focuses on Latinos, immigrants, and limited English proficient speakers with low incomes. To date this year, ECDLR has helped over 40 individuals looking for a path to success through numerous programs such as Youth Maritime Accelerator Program: a collaboration with the Port of Seattle, Goodwill, Seattle Public Schools, and others;  ANEW; and numerous other programs whose aim is to help participants locate and obtain permanent employment in maritime, construction trades, or green career industries

One such program as the Pre-Apprenticeship Training program (PACT), at Seattle Colleges at the Wood Technology Center, where Jose Berceno, a young Latino looking to improve and find a stable career, had a desire to learn and participate in the construction industry. While looking for opportunities to gain work experience and develop new skills, Jose was connected to PACT. After attending their information session on how to apply, Jose was accepted into the pre-apprenticeship program and is currently attending classes.  The Outreach, Placement & Retention Coordinator who works closely with the students mentioned in a follow-up that Jose is doing well and thriving in the program.  Jose will be graduating in December and will be applying to various companies in their job fair that they offer to all graduates.

The health and success of El Centro de la Raza begins with you. Support from a broad base of community members including foundations, individuals, and corporations is critical to our success and we ask that you carefully consider making a personally meaningful gift – it may be the largest gift you have ever made.

Building the Beloved Community Gala 2021 Results

This year’s virtual Building the Beloved Community Gala was a rousing success! Together we raised over $425,000! Mil gracias to all our sponsors, volunteers, and auction bidders. We could not do this without your love and support. We look forward to celebrating our 50th Anniversary with you next year! 

2021 Sponsors:

Amazon, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, Seattle Credit Union, US Bank, Washington Education Association, Premera Blue Cross, Arcora Foundation, Group Health Foundation, JP Morgan Chase, UPS, Puget Sound Energy, Kaiser Permanente, IBEW Local 46, Seattle Kraken and Climate Pledge Arena, BECU, Walsh Construction, Union Bank, Third Place Design Co-op, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Coca Cola, Port of Seattle, Heritage Bank, KeyBank, Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters, MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions, Enterprise, Seattle Public Utilities, Catholic Community Services of Western Washington, Fred Hutch, Perkins Coie, The Nature Conservancy, United Way of King County, Starbucks Coffee Hora del Café, Forterra, Clifton Larson Allan LLP, Goodwill, HomeStreet Bank, University of Washington Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity, Molina Healthcare of Washington, Slalom Consulting, SMR Architects, KUNS Univision Seattle, SEIU Healthcare 1199 Northwest, Seattle Children’s, Kantor Taylor, Sprague Israel Giles Inc., Sound Transit – Office of Civil Rights, Equity, and Inclusion; Beacon Development Group, Ben Bridge Jeweler, Alaska Airlines

2021 Event Speakers & Performers:

Fred Northup, Jr. | Leticia Lucero | Estela Ortega | Olisa “Spyc-E” Enrico | SuperSones | Garvaundo Hamilton

2021 Virtual Party Hosts:

Aguirre & Associates | Equity Matters | KING 5 | Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle | University of Washington EarthLab | Seattle Seahawks | OneAmerica | ACLU of Washington | Seattle World School | People for Patty Murray

2021 Legacy Award Winners:

Dr. Estell Williams & Edwin Lindo

2021 Scholarship Recipients:

Alejah Bousley | Brenda Vazquez | Brittney Ramirez Osorio | Bryan De La Rosa Morales | Jazmin Pairazamin | Jessica Martinez Vaca | Jimena Andrea Talamantes | Maria Estrada-Montes | Miranda E. Santos-De La Cruz | Victor Juarez

For more information, please contact Alissa Lederer at 206-957-4649 or events@elcentrodelaraza.org

Cuentos From Our Programs and Community: October 2021


ECDLR’s own Antojitos Lita Rosita gets a mention in the South Seattle Emerald!

“Rosa Juarez always had the dream of opening Antojitos Lita Rosita but was never quite sure how to start it. She learned about the Food Incubator Program run by El Centro de la Raza and knew it was the perfect opportunity for her. She has been serving food from Plaza Roberto Maestas since April 2019 and living her dream. ” by Jax Kiel at the South Seattle Emerald.


“I noticed this embroidered piece of cloth stapled to the phone pole on the corner across from El Centro de la Raza, on 16th Avenue S. and Bayview Street. It’s not just the message that is so sweet, it is the fact that someone took the time to stitch and present it.”
– Steve Wells, Development

Have a business idea, but aren’t sure what to do next?

Marcos Arellano of Shark Bite Ceviche

El Centro de la Raza’s Small Business Development Program provides small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs with workshops, business development advice, credit counseling, and access to a variety of resources all aiming to foster long-term financial stability and independence. Your donations ensure that we can continue to provide such valuable services.

We can’t do the things we do without your help.

The health and success of El Centro de la Raza begins with you. Support from a broad base of community members including foundations, individuals, and corporations is critical to our success and we ask that you carefully consider making a personally meaningful gift – it may be the largest gift you have ever made.

We are pleased to introduce this year’s Roberto Felipe Maestas Scholarship recipients!

It is an accomplishment in and of itself to graduate in a year like 2021, but these scholars have truly gone above and beyond. This year’s Roberto Felipe Maestas Scholarship recipients are helping to build the Beloved Community by fighting for justice and generational healing. They have already shown promise as young community organizers, advocates, educators, and leaders.

Announcing our 2021 Legacy Award Honorees!

In honor of Roberto and his legacy, the Annual Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award recognizes two individuals, who exemplify Building the Beloved Community through multi-racial unity and working to eliminate poverty, racism, and social inequity. Roberto’s life was dedicated to this mission and he believed only through multi-racial unity can we eradicate poverty, racism, and social inequity. El Centro de la Raza celebrates our Legacy award winner by making a $1,000 gift in their name to an organization of their choice.

Award recipients will be recognized at El Centro de la Raza’s Building the Beloved Community Gala on Saturday, October 2, 2021.

El Centro de la Raza is pleased to recognize our annual Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award honorees:

Dr. Estell Williams, M.D. and  Edwin Lindo, J.D. 

Dr. Estell Williams, M.D. is a board-certified general surgeon, an Assistant Professor of Surgery, and Executive Director of the Doctor For A Day outreach program through the University of Washington School of Medicine. 

Edwin Lindo, J.D. is a Critical Race Theory Scholar and educator and Assistant Dean for Social and Health Justice at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Edwin teaches, presents, and writes on issues of race and racism within Medicine and society.

​Together, Edwin and Estell are the co-founders of Estelita’s Library, a community library and bookstore with a focus on social justice, ethnic studies, and liberation movements. Estelita’s goal is to have community book talks, classes, meetings, history lessons, and much more to strengthen and develop our collective analysis for justice. Estelita’s Library’s model is to build upon the traditional bookstore model and include community book lending. The space and books are open to everyone, at no charge

Consider writing a letter to your local newspaper

Hello and happy summer! As the season winds down and families and teachers get ready for kids to return to school, we’re thinking about the boost they’ll get soon, thanks to new investments from the Education Legacy Trust. 

During the last legislative session, a majority of lawmakers took the bold and necessary step of balancing our upside-down tax code by passing a tax on extraordinary capital gains. While our tax code is still far from fair, we’re finally starting to make the wealthy to pay their share. 

The capital gains tax will add an estimated $500 million a year to the Education Legacy Trust, making child care more accessible and affordable, enrolling more children in early learning programs, funding K-12 education, and providing more opportunities for students in community colleges and universities. Less than 1% of the state’s wealthiest residents will pay this tax, but every community in Washington will benefit.

Will you help us share this good news? We have to thank legislators for their hard work and commitment and ask them to keep working to make the tax code more equitable. 

We’re asking friends and partners to spread the word. Consider writing a letter to your local newspaper about our upside-down tax code and how the capital gains tax will start to fix it. 

If you need inspiration, here’s an excerpt from a letter that SEIU 925 leader Kathy Yasi recently submitted to the Seattle Times: 

In D37 we elected Sen. Saldana, Rep. Santos and Rep. Harris-Tally to lead us in finding ways to make sure everyone pays their fair share in our state.  I want to thank each of them for their hard work and dedication to find solutions to our unfair tax system.  And still, we have more work to do.

Thank you, Kathy, for taking the lead! And thanks in advance for your efforts to do the same. We appreciate you helping us share ways that a fairer tax code will benefit you and your neighbors — and to counter those who like the system just the way it is. Together, we’re making progress!


Letter writing talking points

Capital Gains Letter to the Editor Templates

Introduction: Say who you are and why you’re writing. 

For example:

“I’m a mom in Edmonds and I’m excited about more options for child care that are coming because this year legislators passed a capital gains tax on the super rich.”

OR

“As a local business owner here in Spokane, the new capital gains tax passed by state legislators this year means my employees will have more options for child care and parents will see more investments in education.”

Body: Talk about the capital gains tax and why it’s important. 

For example:

“Childcare, preschool, and other education are funded by a new tax on capital gains, profits of more than $250,000 from the sale of stocks and bonds. Less than 1% of Washingtonians will pay this tax, but everyone will benefit.”

OR 

“The capital gains tax is a good step to making sure everyone is paying their share in taxes and supporting the services — like early learning and education — that we all benefit from.”

OR 

“We can make sure that every community has what they need to thrive when we insist that every person pays their share in taxes.” 

Closing: Thanks legislators for their vote or ask legislators to continue fixing our upside-down tax code

For example:

“But those with the most are still not paying their share in taxes. Our tax code is the most upside-down in the country, which means those with the least income are paying the highest share of their earnings in state and local taxes. We have to make this more fair. Our elected leaders should find more ways to make sure everyone pays their share.” 

OR 

“I want to thank (legislator name) for having the courage to vote for the capital gains tax. Our community needs investments like (example) that the tax will fund. I also appreciate your recognition that the tax code still isn’t fair and I encourage you to keep working on solutions like a wealth tax and a more equitable estate tax. Thank you!” 

Sign: Don’t forget to sign your name. Some papers also require the city where you live or your address. 

Important Notes

  • Most publications set a limit of 200 words for letters to the editor so please keep your submission under that. 
  • Find your local paper and information on how to contact them on our handy spreadsheet

Sample Letter

Dear editor, 

I’m writing to thank our state legislators, (name) and (name), who voted for a capital gains tax that requires the wealthy few to pay their share and starts to balance our upside-down tax code and.

Washington is dead last when it comes to tax fairness, but that changed this week when the capital gains tax went into effect. 

For too long, we’ve asked those who earn the least to pay the greatest share of their income in state and local taxes. We’ve asked them to foot most of the bill for schools, health care, transportation, and other services that benefit all of us. 

A capital gains tax will make sure that those with the most pay their share. It will fund child care, preschool, and K-12 education. All of us will benefit, especially parents who need accessible and affordable early learning and employers who need a reliable workforce. 

Lawmakers should keep working to make our tax code more fair. They must make sure everyone pays their share so we can all get the services we need. They should look for other ways, like a wealth tax, to ask those who have done well in Washington to do right by Washington. 

Sincerely,

(Name) 

Sample letter

To the editor:

This year, we came together to tell legislators it was time to address our upside-down tax code and ask the wealthiest Washingtonians to pay their share. I applaud state legislators (name) and (name) for their vote for the capital gains tax. 

Washington is dead last when it comes to tax fairness, but that changed this week when the capital gains tax went into effect. 

For too long, we’ve asked those who earn the least to pay the greatest share of their income in state and local taxes. We’ve asked them to foot most of the bill for schools, health care, transportation, and other services that benefit all of us. 

We’ve been told there’s not enough in the state budget to fund everything we need for our communities to be healthy and prosperous. But that’s not true. There are plenty of resources in our state. We must ask those who have done well in Washington to do right by Washington. 

I/my organization is going to continue asking lawmakers to make our tax code more fair. I hope you’ll join me/us. When everyone pays their share, we can all get the services we need, including (name your organization’s service or issue).

Sincerely,

(Name)